They Call Me Rico - Sweet Exile
Exiled yet familiar
– They call him Rico.
– And you want to ricochet off this? I replied myself, triply disappointed by this band name which wasn’t really one, by the absurdity of the play on words I just couldn’t hold, and by the vacuity of this artificial conversation with myself.
The sleeve even specified: "They Call Me Rico & The Escape", which reinforced my perplexity. Rico, very well that was him. And since "They Call Me Rico" was the band, then "The Escape" was what? After a few inquiries, you learnt that the guy (Rico I said, follow) already worked solo before as "They Call Me Rico" (3 studio albums and 1 live album). So the musicians who accompany him in this 4th album must be the "& The Escape". So let’s say "They Call Me Rico" is... the project, and we’re doing well. Phew.
On the other hand, no perplexity with his music. The cavalcade of this good old blues-rock will extend, according to the tracks, from Canada (Rico is from Quebec) until Mexico. A good soundtrack for Lucky Luke comic strips, always ready to pull out his... harmonica!
First there was the single, the effective "Needle in a Haystack". In a way, it was the door which made me want to enter the house. But then after having listened to the album several times, this single, with the guitar systematically doubling the voice, ended up annoying me a little. In other words, once settled in the house, I felt like dismantling the door.
Because there is better, much better, to get your teeth into, and which resists time: the slide guitar of "If You Should Leave Me" or "Take Me as I am", the whistling of "Sweet Exile", the languorous and victim final piece "The Devil Made Me Do It"...
You may think of INXS ("Love Is a Vampire") or The The. The voice is often hidden behind a slight filter which matches the style.
The vertigo might take you, like it took me, if you listen well till the end the splendid slow song "When the Summer Ends" and its magical guitar solos.
In contrast, the ugly duckling "Odd One Out", with its heavy gimmick and its almost metal solo, shows he holds more in reserve.
Only one defect: it’s badly produced, the mix is a bit flat and doesn’t pull the best of each vocal or instrumental take. On the whole the sound lacks depth and breadth. It seems you have to see him live. I’d love to. And whatever the combo or its name on the poster.
They call him whatever they want; after all I don’t give a damn. As long as music is good.
With 40 minutes for 9 tracks only, you can be sure music is well developed.
But, if length can work wonders, for example in the 5:04 of "When the Summer Ends", as as already said above, it can harm too, and a few tracks could (should?) be shorter. "Needle in a Haystack" primarily. Especially because the songs often start directly with the chorus, sometimes using up all their (good) ammunition.
When the Summer Ends
If You Should Leave Me
Odd One Out
“There’s a war within myself, I wish I was someone else” ("Sweet exile")